Wednesday, June 8, 2011
This is one of those posts. It's going to make some people uncomfortable. Sorry in advance but my opinion is based on what I have lived. My testimony.
People are constantly telling us how amazing we are in this adoption thing. And we are far from amazing. We have just seen the impact of not doing adoption this way first hand. And as we love our little boy to distraction we want to save him pain.
We have an open adoption. And it seems, a very open one. Open adoption is not a choice here in NZ as it is elsewhere. It's how it is. The truth is that initially an open adoption is far harder on the adoptive parents. A closed adoption is easier to start your life as parents with. But it's not what is best for the child. And long term an open adoption is far easier for everyone.
Adoption runs like a thread through Dida's family. His granddad was adopted as was his father. His grandmother fell pregnant when she was 17 years old and grandad raised her daughter Anna*, as his own. In turn Anna fell pregnant when she was also 17 years old and was forced to give her daughter, Celia*, up for adoption. ALL of these adoptions were closed. ALL of these adoptions have caused immeasurable pain to the WHOLE extended family.
Take Anna for example. Every time we see her she seeks me out. And talks with tears running down her face. Of finding her birth daughter again, of how Anna's adoptive mother is hostile, of the fact that she didn't find her own birthfather until it was too late. On and on, the pain spins out. Then when she can't talk anymore she always turns and looks at Rupi. And asks about Sweetpea, when we last saw her, how she's doing. She relives it all in a good way through our adoption. She says it heals her.
Then there's Celia, Anna's daughter. Anna and Celia found each other when Celia was 35 years old. Celia's Mom would not help her. Anna is desperate for any contact with Celia. She says to me that she will take whetever she can get. I understand Celia's Mom's fear. Of how threatened she feels. Selfishly I want to demystify Sweetpea. Make her a natural part of our lives. So there isn't this massive and undeniable need to seek her out. So that she is available and the relationship is a natural one that grows and develops alongside ours.
And lastly there's my Da, my beloved father-in-law. Who's adoption caused him such pain. His birth mother found him as an adult and would visit him occasionally. These visits were so traumatic for him, even as a grown man, that my mother-in-law would find in a foetal position on the bed afterwards. Sobbing.
Closed adoption is not cool. And I am going to go out on a limb here and say that I believe it's our God given right to know our biological heritage.
Dida and I are are not doing our open adoption because we are incredible selfless human beings. We are doing it because to NOT to do it, would be unbelievably cruel to our son.
Something to remember...
There are degrees of open-ness and each family needs to judge what is good for them. If Sweetpea was a drug addict or Rupi was a result of a rape, things would be very different. We are totally blessed that Sweetpea (and J of course as the birth dad) are wonderful people and our family cultures are similar.
So please. If you or anyone you know is adopting, talk to them about an open adoption. Refer them to my blog or email me. Thank you so much xxx
* Not their real names
Posted by Sammy at 1:30 PM